A new Pew poll shows that 54% of Americans support torture. This number has risen consistently over the last year in the Pew data; I speculate that this rise is related to the Obama administration's efforts to conceal torture evidence and refusal to allow investigations or prosecutions. In this way, the institutionalisation and normalisation of torture continues. Only 25% of Americans now say torture is never justified. Greenwald:
Just think about that. Torture is one of the most universal taboos in the civilized world. The treaty championed by Ronald Reagan declares that "no exceptional circumstances" can justify it, and requires that every state criminalize it and prosecute those who authorize or engage in it. But only 25% of Americans agree with Ronald Reagan and this Western consensus that torture is never justifiable. Worse, 54% of Americans believe torture is "often" or "sometimes" justified. When it comes to torture, the vast bulk of the country is now to the "right" (for lack of a better term) of Ronald Reagan, who at least in words (if not in deeds) insisted upon an absolute prohibition on the practice and mandatory prosecution for those responsible.